Hunt makes millions from sale of Hotcourses

Jeremy Hunt Image copyright PA

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has become one of the UK's richest politicians after selling Hotcourses, his privately owned business.

The firm, which runs websites listing courses for students around the world, is being bought for £30m by the Australian firm IDP Education.

Mr Hunt owns a 48% stake in Hotcourses, which is therefore valued at just over £14m.

He said he would use the money to fund campaigns after he leaves politics.

"I am incredibly proud to have set up a successful business, even prouder of the current Hotcourses team who have taken it from strength to strength, and intend to use a significant proportion of the proceeds to campaign for causes I believe in when I eventually leave frontline politics," Mr Hunt said.

He helped to set up the firm, which initially printed a directory of educational courses, in 1996.

The MP for South West Surrey stepped down as a director in 2009 but retained his shareholding.

The company now runs several educational websites, such as Postgraduate Search and The Complete University Guide, as well as Hotcourses.

Headquartered in London, it employs more than 300 staff in the UK, Australia, the US and Asia.

It has more than two million registered users for its websites, which list half a million courses offered by more than 5,000 educational institutions in 48 countries.

IDP Education, based in Melbourne, is half-owned by a consortium of 38 Australian universities and recruits and advises university students around the world who want to study abroad.

It is also a co-owner of the English language testing business IELTS.

IDP Education said that it and the Hotcourses businesses would retain their identity and continue to operate separately, but would collaborate.

Chief executive of the Hotcourses group, Simon Emmett, said: "The Hotcourses Group and IDP Education are both longstanding members of the international education community, and this agreement brings together a world leader in education search technology and tools, with a world leader in student placement and preparation. Together we will now provide unparalleled support and guidance at every step of the student journey, from enquiry to enrolment."

Hotcourses was up for sale in 2013 but no deal materialised.

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